Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Geeks Run The World Project Start-Up!

#GeeksRunTheWorld!!! #IgglePride!!!
I should definitely thank +The Nerdy Girlie for this, because it was the Geek Girl Gab section of her blog that gave me the inspiration for this. This is going to be the start of a regular series of posts I plan on including as part of my blog (as is showcased by the brand new, shiny Geeks Run The World page :) ) where I am going to get to know as many Iggles as possible, whether they're fellow bloggers or staff members or just one of the many amazing Jane's (or Joe's!) that occupy the Iggle universe.

Part of the new Iggle Manifesto says "I will encourage my fellow geek community," and "I will make real connections with my fellow Iggles." that's what I plan on doing through showcasing as many Iggles as possible. If you don't believe me, here's the manifesto to take a look at yourself!
And for those of you that are wondering, I am not exclusively looking to showcase Iggles; if a fellow geek or generally awesome person comes around that I'd like to feature here, them not being a member won't stop me from showcasing them for their awesomeness - after all, the manifesto says "I will love everyone, Muggle or not" XD That being said, if they've never heard of our amazing community I'll definitely be there to enlighten them :)

So here's how this is going to work - as often as I can, I am going to find an amazing geek that I will contact and ask a series of questions! I will also include any images that they will allow me to include from their blogs or social media accounts so you can really get a sense as to who that person is. I'm also going to share their social media information (with their permission) so that you can contact these amazing people and get to know them better! This is going to be a project that I hope will benefit hundreds, and it will help to connect geeks and iggles with similar interests.

If you or someone you know would be a great geeky candidate to be interviewed and featured here on The Written Word(s), please contact me at kcrules48[at!]hotmail.com with the subject line Geeks Run The World Nomination.

This isn't going to be some sort of special award given only to the best and brightest in the geek community, but is rather a way to equally spread the awesomeness around and if you know somebody that is a bit shy and would do good from meeting people of similar interests, or if you want to do something special for someone by having a blog post dedicated to them, or if you want to get your own name and face out there, feel free to email me! Although if you choose to nominate yourself, I do have one small rule: you must also nominate another fellow geek at the same time. I hope to start posting these interviews very shortly :)

Until this project officially begins, I'll be keeping you posted!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Mail Call! 22/09/14 - 26/09/14

Received Mail: 2 Items!
Item #1: New Dress & Belt from ModCloth!
I've been trying my best to resist the urge to buy stuff online lately unless it's something I really need, but when ModCloth was having a 70% off sale, all bets were off :P I actually spent so little on my order that the box was delivered to my door instead of having an additional customs charge to pay at the post office before I could pick up my order, and that's the first time I've ever had a ModCloth box delivered to my door.

The belt is a brown leather and has a belted pouch attached to it that slides to anywhere that you would like to position it. I'll admit, the main reason I bought it is because I thought it would be a great piece for my future Steampunk costume. But the pouch looks big enough to hold even my cell phone, so I don't see any reason why I won't get a lot of use out of it.
My and my aunts and uncles standing outside Corks in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
And this is the red dress that I bought for a very reasonable price :) It was very comfortable and the style was actually extremely flattering to my particular figure. It has this weird bit at the sides that took away from the size of my hips, and when my mother saw it on me she was so impressed that she told me to remember the name of the style of it so that we could look for other dresses in that particular style at some point in the future. All in all, in this case, I am very happy that I decided to indulge a little bit with this sale.
Item #2: Chevron & Lightening Bolt Nail Vinyls!
This particular purchase definitely doesn't fit into the category of "need", I know that, but these were something that I really wanted to try. With my subscription to Black Sheep Lacquer nail polishes, I really want to try and create some awesome-looking nail art with these things.
The new polishes from Black Sheep lacquer that I received earlier this month.
I just received from great new polishes, and I have a ton more that I still haven't used yet and I'm eager to try them out. I hope that with the help of these new nail vinyls, I'll be able to show off some super cool nail art to you guys really soon :)
Sent Mail: 3 Items!
Items 1-2: Letters to Pen Pal Tia & Hopeful Pen Pal Shelby!
Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty I'm free at last . . . to write letters to people XD

With how hectic this summer was for me, I've been seriously behind with my snail mail, and actually started a letter in the summer that I had to re-write because too much time had passed from when I first started it! That's never happened before, and let me tell you, it was kind of a pain XP Now I know better then to get too lazy with my letter writing ever again. Because I was able to re-write and finally finish one letter, I was free to finally get started with the second one, which was long overdue. It's quite the weight off my shoulders to finally get 2 new letters sent off in the mail. Plus I got to use the new postal-themed stamps I received as a birthday gift from my mom :)
Item #3: Summer Camp Care Package to Iggle Marissa!
Now if my letters were a tad overdue, this care package takes the cake XP

This package being so, so delayed was partly the cause of an error in me not being assigned to another iggle for this gift exchange until 2 days after packages were due, in which case I knew I wouldn't be able to make the deadline, and partly because I became overwhelmed with my giveaways and then with school and there was the matter of dealing with the new online customs forms and being able to afford shipping that held me back even further. But I finally got this package in the mail today, and better late than never!
At the very least, I hope the fact that I went all out with this care package (even if it is extremely late) will make up for any of the discrepancies. I tried to categorize the stuff I got her and kind of keep it together. There's a box full of stationary stuff (since every iggle camper needs to be able to write home!) and I had a little felt bag full of different craft supplies, and most creative of all was I put together a "fairy" kit because Marissa listed her nickname as the Fairy Queen. So I thought I'd play off that and put some things together with some written instructions on how to make your own fairy circle. I hope she finds it cute and endearing, even if it's remarkably late.

There's of course also a whole bunch of other summer-related goodies jam-packed in there, and I hope that even though summer is officially over, she'll be able to find a way to enjoy everything sent to her in the box. I'll keep my fingers crossed!

And that's all the mail-related news! Until next time, I'll keep you guys posted!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Vinyl Princess - Re-Reading/YA Bingo

Completed on: September 28th
# of Pages: 313
Bingo Category: A Book About Music
This is a book that I took out from the Welland Public Library when I was in high school to enjoy, and this summer when it came time to make my pilgrimage to the same library, I thought of this book and remembered how much I enjoyed it the first time around. Not to mentioned I needed to fill up a square with a book about Music, and I knew that this book was dripping with a love for music, specifically a love for vinyl LP's, and I knew I had to include it among my YA reads for this year.

I will openly admit this, but the majority of the references tracks and artists and LP's contained in this book (and this book is packed full of them!) go right over my head. We did have a record player when I was growing up, but my dad wouldn't let me near it except to play the one and only Strawberry Shortcake vinyl that we owned while I played in the rec room. I am of the downloading age that Allie, the main character of this book, loathes with a great passion, and I make no excuses for that. But even with not recognizing the names of the LP's and tracks that Allie was constantly listing off, especially for her blog posts, she does a very good job at explaining why that LP is significant and the feeling it brings about in her every time she listens to it. I do feel that I have always had a strong connection with music, ever since 8th grade, so on this level I am able to relate to her.

The fact that the main character starts up her own blog was also fascinating. This book was published in 2010, so the world of blogging back then was quite different from how it is now, but considering that a lot of the greatest blogs that I read have been years in the making, it does put Allie in an interesting spot to observe how she writes her posts and oh-so-quickly gains interest and followers. I'm not sure it's really supposed to happen that quickly in real life, but maybe that genre of blogging, writing posts as an avid vinyl collector, hits upon a whole new niche that we writing/geek bloggers know nothing about.

One big factor with this book, that I enjoy in many of the books I have read this year, is that unpredictability factor. With this story it is very easy to follow, and the characters that come across in the pages are always humorous and keep you constantly entertained, but it's also great to know that I'm not anticipating every single twist and turn that the plot has to offer. Allie is a very unique protagonist, and the people she surrounds herself with are able to grow and change and express honest, human flaws that I could greatly relate with. Even if this story is told in the perspective of a vinyl junkie, you get a wide range of characters, from the non-stereotypical mother to the quirky best friend to all of the weirdos that make up the lively area of Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley.

If you're looking for a unique read with humorous but very human characters, I definitely recommend you pick Yvonne Prinz's book up. It might not be common to find on bookstore shelves right now you can always order a copy, or better yet, see if your local library has it among their shelves :)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Re-Watching Gossip Girl - Season 1

I'm not sure exactly how it started. Maybe it was when I was thinking about the fall and began picture how New York City looks in the fall. Or maybe it was the Buzzfeed article I read recently titled "54 Things You Probably Didn't Know About 'Gossip Girl'." But whatever it was, I decided to take a trip down memory lane and get reacquainted with one of my favorite guilty pleasures.

Since this show is one I loved while I was in high school and in my early years of university, and I haven't actually seen any early episodes of the show since watching the series finale at the end of the 6th and final season, I was sure that watching from the very beginning again would give me a whole new perspective. Especially since I now know who Gossip Girl is (but don't worry, for the sake of these posts I won't get into any spoilers unless I have to, and now without prior warning). For somebody who gets attached to characters rather easily, especially TV show characters, this was like a reunion of sorts, and I will now share with you some of the highlights of revisiting the first season of Gossip Girl.
Serena & Blair
These two girls have the longest lasting friendship that I've seen in this show, and the stuff they get up to in their youth (the show starts when they're in their junior year of high school) is really comical to see with the faint rememberings of what happens with them as the years go on. The majority of the show throughout all 6 seasons focuses on Serena van der Woodsen, who at the beginning of season 1 is just returning to the Upper East Side from a stint in boarding school that she fled to the previous year without a warning to anyone. That being said, this show is definitely an ensemble production, and the personalities of all of these characters help to support the foundation that the show stands on.

The only actor I knew on this show before I started watching it was Blake Lively, who plays Serena, because she was in The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants. So I was naturally more inclined to stick to her story line, at least in the early seasons, but now that I'm re-watching for other reasons I've picked up on a few things that I missed the first time around, which is always nice.
Blair is probably my biggest style icon in the 1st season. Not only am I completely envious of her wavy brown locks, but a lot of the clothes she wears in this season is stuff that I very much wish I could own. The dress she wears during the Thanksgiving episode in particular is one of my favorites. I don't know if I could rock a hairband with everything like she manages to, and the big bows she manages to incorporate in so many outfits really isn't for me, 
Little J
I have this personal fascination with the character of Jenny Humphrey, mainly because I have been using the actress' face, Taylor Momsen, as a celebrity face claim in my roleplaying for many years now, specifically the photos that pertain to her music career as the headliner for the band The Pretty Reckless. Seeing adorable J, especially in first season when she's still an impressionable freshman, in comparison to Taylor Momsen in real life is interesting on its own. There's also the transformation that Jenny makes throughout the seasons, and seeing where she was when everything starts is very enlightening after being away from the show for so long. If there's one character that is impacted the most by the world of the super rich and beautiful, it's probably Little J from Brooklyn.
"I'm Chuck Bass."
Ah, Chuck . . . one of my favorite "love to hate" characters of all time from television. Getting to see more "I'm Chuck Bass" moments in the first season made re-watching season 1 worth it all on its own. In the first season he only really shows the very beginnings of personal growth, but that's what the following seasons are for, and I'm very excited to get to re-live that!
There are of course more characters - the lovable Dan Humphrey, the charming Nate Archibald - but this re-visiting isn't necessarily to write character profiles as they are at the end of each season, but to experience the specific nuances and my favorite moments. As I continue to re-watch this series I plan to make note of more specific moments that I absolutely loved (and hopefully find any excuse to include a .gif or two XD). I also invite anybody reading this who has either previously loved Gossip Girl or maybe have been looking for the right time to start watching it, why not right now? Comment below with your experiences! Also, if you could choose a TV series to go back and re-enjoy right now, what would it be and why? Let me know!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Ashes to Ashes - YA Bingo

Completed on: September 18th
# of Pages: N/A
Bingo Category: The Last Book in a Trilogy
This is a book (an audiobook to be specific) that I have been eagerly waiting on the release of for about a year now, and so when I woke up on the 16th I jumped onto iTunes to download the audiobook and transferred it to my iPod so I could start listening on my way to the bus stop before class

This is the final book in the Burn for Burn trilogy by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian. I don't actually own the physical copies of any of these books, and I have stuck strictly to the audiobooks. For anybody that is curious about this series, I highly recommend that you give the audio book a shot. The voice actors fit these characters spectacularly, and hearing these particular voices act out the role of the three female narrators/main characters added a whole new element of entertainment to this trilogy. The voice actors are Madeleine Maby, Joy Osmanski, and Rebekkah Ross, and their performances in all three audiobooks, Burn for Burn, Fire with Fire and Ashes to Ashes, are so spectacular. The voice of Kat was so perfectly suited to the character, and her wit and cutting tone always had me laughing. The voice of Lillia was soft and light and depicted "Princess Lillia" in the best way. And finally, the voice of Mary always suited the character's mood, whether it was cheerful, haunting, or utterly and terribly filled with sorrow.
Both authors actually ended up favoriting this tweet - Booya :)
Now I don't see any reason to spoil the final book in this trilogy for anybody that hasn't read any of the books in this series yet, and more than anything I want to talk this series up for anybody that is looking for a new YA title (or three) to read next, so I'm going to try and tell you about the very first book without any spoilers.

Burn for Burn starts out like many typical YA series with three high school girls - 2 seniors and one sophomore - that each have a problem directly connected to somebody in their lives. These girls who are unlikely friends - Outcast & Badass Kat, the Popular Princess Lillia and the New Girl, Meek Mary - make a pact one night to help each other get revenge on the people in their lives that have wronged them. Much like Strangers on a Train, they vow to help cause havok to each other's targets so that the deed cannot be traced back too easily, and they all promise not to talk about the pact to anyone outside of the three of them and also that none of them can back out once things got started.

This series is far from a typical story about high school jealousy and immature amounts of revenge. Sure, things start off in a way that is very typical of YA fiction, but the story quickly turns in many unpredictable directions, turning this series into one full of suspense and intrigue, even bordering on the edge of a horror series.
One of my favorite exchanges between Kat and Lillia from Ashes to Ashes.
One of the main things that I love about this series, which is one thing that I look for in a lot of YA fiction that I read, is that unpredictable factor where the author(s) don't take the traditional route in any sense of the word and are always able to leave be guessing - about the characters themselves, the story line and generally just on the edge of my seat as I'm asking to myself "WHAT'S GONNA HAPPEN NEXT?!"

Aside from the outstanding performances of all three voice actors that bring the three characters in this series (and countless secondary characters) very much to life, I would recommend that this series be purchased as an audiobook for the very large suspense factor of this series as well. Much like the heart-wrenching yet humorous Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, which is voiced by a male voice actor, Joel Johnstone, to portray Clay Jensen and a female voice actor, Debra Wiseman, to portray Hannah Baker, this is a series that I feel becomes an entirely different experience as an audiobook. Thirteen Reasons Why is told partly through the narration of Clay and partly from the audio tapes that the recently departed Hannah has left behind and had sent to Clay, so that is very much an audiobook that has an entirely different tone when a person listens to it as opposed to simply reading the book. I believe that all three books in the Burn for Burn series can exist as an entirely different experience in audiobook form as well, because it contains the same sort of suspense that can give you that shivers-down-your-spine feeling that horror movie enthusiasts crave on a regular basis.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Confessions of a Blogger

A lot of other fellow bloggers have participated in this link up, so I couldn't resist in joining in and having a little fun in the process :) Wish I could've included an original photo as part of this, but right now the areas at home where I tend to blog are a complete mess XP So I hope that Nerdy Girlie's stock image is fine with you guys. Here is the original Confessions of a Blogger post by Nerdy Girlie.

#1: I suck at time management/scheduling blog posts.
In order to generally improve my blog, I ended up purchasing the Blog Planning Kit from www.HowTheyBlog.com to help me with planning content and to help me manage my time as well. That was months ago and I still haven't gotten the hang of using it XD It's a work in progress though. I know if I start planning my posts a week or two in advance I'll be better off, especially since I'm back in school.
#2: I spend way too much money on advertising.
Making money from sponsors is one of the things I least desire to do with regards to my blog. That being said, I know I should get a bit more aggressive with looking for sponsors, if only to try and break even with the amount I spend each month on advertising. I'd like to avoiding advertising less, because I'm eager to put myself and my blog out there, so I hope that I'll soon get better at seeking sponsors and will learn how to advertise a bit smarter.
#3: I'm terrible at taking the time to explore other people's blogs.
This travesty is caused by the combined effort of me being a lazy ass the majority of the time and me spending most of my internet hours on YouTube. As fascinating as I find Zoella's daily vlogs and each new episode of Frankenstein MD and Job Hunters, I know that it would be more proactive of me to spend more of that time browsing other blogs, reading posts and publishing comments.
#4: I want to incorporate original YouTube videos as part of my blog SO BAD!!!
Ever since the spring/summer of 2013 when I regularly shot, edited and uploaded vlogs as part of the vlogiggles, I have seriously missed creating content for YouTube and I keep searching for a way in which I may be able to combine my passion for The Written Word(s) with my passion for creating YouTube videos. I do tend to overload myself when it comes to regular commitments, so I know I don't have time to manage my own separate channel just yet, but I'm constantly brainstorming about fun and innovative ways I could incorporate videos with my blog on a semi-regular basis.
#5: I'm very behind with Snail Mail, which is both a bad thing and a good thing.
Of course being too busy to send out letters and postcards to the people I care about is a huge bummer, and I love being able to sit down and decorate note cards that I'm sending out to my pen pals or even to unsuspecting recipients. But this time where I'm unable to have Snail Mail as a constant fixture of my day-to-day routine is also a blessing in disguise. Lately I've been working to blog more about writing in general instead of fixating too heavily on Snail Mail. As much fun as I have showing off the cool cards and packages I occasionally receive in the mail, I know that daily posts about one or two Postcrossing cards aren't exactly entertaining. Or, at least, I haven't found a way to make them entertaining yet, which is why I switched to doing the occasional weekly Snail Mail post.
With being forced to take an actual break from snail mail, it gives me the opportunity to create content for my blog that isn't heavily reliant on what I may find in my mailbox on a particular week. I've experimented with fashion-related posts (which I hope to write more about in the near future), I've finally been given a chance to write about video games ("A Defense of The Sims Games."), and I plan on doing a weekly or bi-weekly routine of posting about improving your writing skills by practicing a little bit every day. This break is giving me a chance to really expand and to try out new content, which I am grateful for :) But that doesn't mean I can give up on Snail Mail entirely; it's just too much fun XD

And that's that! Check out other #BloggerConfessions posts on blogs all over the place! I hope you all didn't mind sitting through my round of what felt like complaining about myself for an entire blog post :P Let me know what you think in the comments below! And tell me, What are some of your blogger confessions?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Love of Words #4

So we've all got a selection of words that we love - whimsical, y'all, eviscerate and languish are a few examples that have been given to me in the past - and for various reasons. We like how they sound, we like what they represent, or we have some sort of personal connection or positive connotation with those words that cause them to stick around in our heads. Unfortunately, we have certain words stuck inside of our brains that we'd rather not have there. What about our least favorite words?

In one of my seminars recently for a course titled "The Creative Writer", we went around the room discussing out favorite words, and then we switched to discussing out least favorite words, and the comparative results for both questions was really interesting. Fascinated by this, I went on Twitter and asked people what their least favorite words were, and here are the results I received:

"For no particular reason, other than it bugs me, I hate when engaged people use the word fiancé."
"Tummy. I hate the way tummy sounds."
"Moist. Just. No. Ugh I get cold shivers just thinking about it. And I know it's naughty but I hate the word Jizz. Like a lot."
"Urgh do I have to type it? It's Mings, so bad :("
"Categorically. And Love"
"Hate. Because it's overused. We have such a vast array of words at our fingertips. We can do better!"
"Patty. It makes me cringe"
"The word 'clunge' is just horrendous :("
"I don't really like 'preggo' or 'preggers'."
"I'm sure someone already said it, but 'MOIST' is my least favorite word."
"Literally. Unless you're John Green. Because nobody uses it correctly. Also the N word and the C U next Tuesday word. If we're doing bad words. Those are hateful, and I can't stand them."

And those are just a few of the samples I received! If I'd been paying more attention in seminar I would've thought to write down the least favorite words of my classmates and their reasonings and include those as well, but alas I was not prepared. Big thanks to everyone on Twitter that contributed to this post, I really appreciate it! I originally intended to include the screen name of everybody but some people looked to not be enjoying the sharing of their least favorite words, so I decided to keep it anonymous. Again, thank you everyone so much!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

A Defense of The Sims Games

My mother has always enthused the life lesson to me that you shouldn't care what others think of you, and that you should never be ashamed of the things you like or enjoy. Even so, I've found that for the past 10+ years I have received a lot of flak from people who like to tease me because of my decade-long fondness for The Sims games. Friends of mine that enjoy playing video games have delivered such lines to be as, "So it's a simulator . . . That's it?" and "That's so boring, where are the guns?!" and "I will never understand how you can play a game for so many hours when nothing happens!"

For all those naysayers out there, I've got some news for you: The Sims and all its predecessors is not a game in which nothing happens. There is plenty to do in the world of the Sims that all of you non-simmers can't see because it's right under your nose. These are games that attract a variety of people for the many unique features that can't be found in your typical FPS or MMORPG. Now that The Sims 4 has been released (and I've already logged a fair number hours into playing it), it seems like a good time to write a little bit about what these games have to offer for a wide variety of players.
A Game for The Stylish
Whether you have a knack for arranging furniture in the real world or you have the random urge to create your own dream house, The Sims has a unique array of tools to allow you to get a real work out of the creative part of your brain. Maybe you see yourself as quite the fashionista and you feel that the Sims you create should reflect your own great tastes in the way that they look as they walk out the door.

The Sims 3 is perhaps the best game for those who want to use this game as a creative tool, because it implements the Create A Style tool (often shortened to CAS, which can also refer to Create A Sim), which allows you to customize outfits, furniture and plenty of building elements such as designing walls, floors, windows and other architectural features. This is a game where you can really let loose and there aren't really any rules. Even the laws of gravity don't apply (*Hint* using the cheat 'moveobjects on' is especially helpful with any gravity-defying parts of your creative vision)!
A Game for The Storyteller
Back in my youth, I used The Sims 2 photo album tool as well as the video feature to recreate plenty of stories using my Sims to help play out the stories and movies that previously could only exist in my head. Whether it's taking pictures in the game and physically typing out your story or filming your Sims acting out a script, you are able to tell stories in a new and unique way using this video game. These videos and pictures allow you to bring a visual element to your stories in a very easy way that would otherwise be impossible unless you're a graphic designer or an illustrator.

Not only that, but you can even play out stories withing the Sims games just by playing and creating a Sim or a family with unique aspirations, flaws and personalities. You give them jobs, build up their skills, and get to play around with how they react to others and perhaps may decide what they will do based on trying to achieve unique goals or doing your best to have them stick to the characters you have given them. The Sims 4 has a unique system where it gives you goals for your Sims to accomplish based on their personal goals and aspirations, and playing the game to try and achieve those goals is a great way to stay in character and to have a lot of fun at the same time :)
A Game for The Sociopath
Come on, admit it; there is a small part of us that would like to create a house full of people, throw them in a swimming pool and then take away the ladder (*Important Note* The Sims get smarter as the games evolve. In The Sims 3, your Sims have actually learned how to climb over the edge of the pool XP Better make sure to fence your Sims into the water! :P). In every Sims game, you essentially get to play God, and anyone with a God complex will surely enjoy creating something and then wiping it out just as quickly while watching the results. 

For anyone that might be a bit horrified with what I'm saying, you should know that the deaths in The Sims 3 are actually pretty funny. Whether it's a naughty ghost hiding in a toaster that scares your Sim to death, or having a meteor or a satellite from outer space falling on your Sim out of the blue as they're lounging on the grass, or in The Sims 4 your Sims can actually meet their maker by laughing too hard, of all things. So go ahead and pick your poison - although I'm not sure if 'Death by Poison' exists in any of the game yet. In The Sims 3 they do have a 'Death by Jellybean' that is pretty interesting, so it couldn't hurt to try that one out.

Funny story - once I gave one of my Sims in The Sims 3  the Unlucky trait, because I wanted to quickly to kill them off as part of the story of the other Sim I had in the household. But what I didn't realize is Unlucky Sims can't die prematurely in any way because when the Grim Reaper appears (as he does in every game), he feels so sorry for your Sim that he gives them another shot XD
Bonus points to anybody who recognizes the Sims in this picture :P
The Sins 4 was released on September 2nd, and if you want to give this game a shot, I highly recommend that you try it out :) Unlike other video games with a number as part of the title, it doesn't matter what order you start in - you can pick up 2, 3 or the original and can have a great time simming away. Each game offers an entirely unique experience, and there's nothing that says that the newer the edition is, the better it is. I go back and play the original game and have just as much fun with it as I do with the newest installment. So grab a copy of one of these base game today, and if you're already a big fan of the franchise, then Keep On Simming :D

Have any unique stories of your own experience with any of these games? Maybe you can list some other reasons for newcomers to try out these games that I haven't covered here? Let me know in the comments below!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Sponsor Spotlight - August 2014

This is the very first month that TWW(s) has had paid sponsors, and I couldn't be happier to have these two amazing ladies lending their support and spreading the word about their own ventures through this blog. This group is small and close-knit now, like a real community, and I am very happy to be giving you guys the chance to learn a little more about them.

TWW(s): Do you have a favorite moment/memory from this month (August 2014)?
SG: I feel like my kiddo does funny things everyday, making most days pretty memorable. My favorite from this month is Amelia going nuts for this little splash pad we bought for her. Her reaction was priceless!

TWW(s): Are there any shows starting up again/premiering in the fall that you're looking forward to seeing?
SG: I am looking forward to Once starting up again and getting to see real life Elsa!

TWW(s): What are your Top 5 Geek Loves?
SG: Stargate, Harry Potter, Sailor Moon, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Animal Crossing.

TWW(s): What is your favorite word/quote as of right now?
SG: "I solemnly swear that I am up to no good."

Check out this post by Scrawny Girl,

TWW(s): Do you have a favorite moment/memory from this past month (August 2014)?
KMT: Watching my son start third grade. He walked into school like he owned the place! A huge difference from the past couple of years.

TWW(s): Are there any shows starting up again/premiering in the fall that you're looking forward to seeing?
KMT: I look forward to watching Gotham and Utopia. Most of my favorite shows ran through the summer and won't be back on until later this year or next year.

TWW(s): What are your Top 5 Geek Loves?
KMT: Star Trek TNG, World of Warcraft/Hearthstone, Going to Conventions, New Kids on the Block, Books Turned Movies.

TWW(s): What is your favorite word/quote as of right now?
KMT: This is a lifetime favorite. I hope to get it tattooed on me someday: "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it." - Ferris Bueller.

Check out this post by KMT,

#ootd - Feelin' Wicked!

To my friends and family, I'm always known as the one who overdresses for every occasion. That's because I have so much fun putting different outfits together! I collect jewelry like it's nobody's business and I have something of an obsession with buying dresses. Since I see so many other bloggers doing this, I'm going to take a spin at documenting a few of my favorite outfits as I put them together and wear them out of the house. (Please remember that I'm a Canadian blogger, so if some of the shop names aren't recognizable to your American or International eyes, then that's probably why XD)

For this particular occasion, I was feeling a little green, not to mention "Black is this year's pink!" according to one Galinda Upland. I had a date with my sister-in-law to go see Wicked on opening night at the Ed Mirvish Theater in Toronto :) I couldn't help but put a little something together for the occasion.
The Clothes
When my eye landed on the particular green of this dress (as well as how much the price was discounted at Suzy Shier), I knew that I had to have it! It may not be emerald green, but it still worked perfectly for opening night. I added a small black waist belt that I'd picked up some time ago from Ricki's clothing boutique and paired it with my black pantyhose that I'd just finished using as part of my Elizabeth cosplay at FanExpo. I also had on a simple pair of black flats, modest shoes that I'm sure Elphaba would approve of.

The hat is something special I'd picked up recently on my big back-to-school shopping trip. For whatever reason it reminded me of the hat that Jessa wears in the pilot episode of Girls, even after looking up the photos from that episode later and seeing that the hats are actually quite different. It might not be the same style of pointed black hat that Elphaba likes to sport, but I still felt that it tied everything together rather well.
I didn't end up bringing the leather jacket with me, because it was a bit too warm for it on this occasion, but this is just to show how you could tie in your own leather jacket into this look to make it appropriate for the fall. It might not be a black cape, but it still fits with the overall Wicked theme.
Jewelry & Face
I stuck to wearing a lot of gold and green with this outfit. It's hard to see it in these pictures, but on my left wrist I wore an older bracelet that is gold and has a larger, oval-shaped green stone. It looks like jade but I'm pretty sure it's just a costume piece. The necklace has emerald-colored stones that make up flower and leaf patterns, looping together and merging into one line. This kind of necklace is what I would typically call "cleavage jewelry", since that's exactly where it draws eyes to XD I picked this up at the local fair last year. It also came with a matching pair of earrings but I couldn't find them before going out, so I put in a pair of green rose-shaped studs that came in a multi-coloured pack from Claire's.
I didn't go too crazy with the makeup, really just sticking to eyeliner and mascara for the eyes (I used the new Manga mascara, which I received for my birthday from Diana, thanks a ton!). I stuck to a nice bright pink lip gloss. After all, according to Galinda, "Pink goes good with green!"
Complete The Look
I unfortunately didn't have time to do my nails before heading off to Wicked, which would've been super fun. If I had though, I already know what colours I would've used. The top picture there includes the green base coat I would use on my finger nails, and then I would have used the sparkle coat titled Cyborg in a gradient style as is shown in the second picture. A bit of green with a otuch of sparkle.

For any pink enthusiasts, or who just agree with Galinda that pink goes good with green, doing the exact nails from the bottom picture would work just as well to give your outfit more of a spice of Glinda the Good. The pink sparkle coat used there is one I have as well, titled Jawbreaker, also from +blacksheeplacquer. If you'd like to learn how to achieve this gradient look, this photo and a step-by-step guide can be found on this Glitter Gradient Fairy Tale Nails Tutorial by Pretty Polished.
And perhaps the best way to really tie everything together, if there was perhaps somebody who couldn't figure out just why you're dressed up this way, a pair of red heels should do the trick ;) I didn't wear these to Toronto because this particular pair is one size too big for me XP But I had to show you guys how it looks with the dress and that it's the perfect final staple to really pull off a Wicked outfit.
Couldn't go to see Wicked without getting some cool souvenirs, am I right? I definitely needed to pick up a t-shirt while I was there, and this one here was my favorite out of all the ones they had on sale. I almost bought a pair of socks, but instead I picked up a simple lapel pin, which you can see a close-up of in the second picture near the top. And the round pink thing is actually a luggage tag. I was so sure that I wasn't going to find a use for this, but I have been travelling a bit more, so perhaps I will. In case it's too hard to read, what it says on the luggage tag is "We can't all come and go by bubble" XDD I couldn't resist getting it!
Me on the right, and on the left is my sister-in-law, Brittany.
All in all, we had such an amazing time seeing Wicked on opening night at the Ed Mirvish Theater! Did I also mention that we were sitting in the 6th row of the orchestra? Yeah, I got an amazing deal on the tickets thanks to Facebook :) It was such a great production - the cast and crew were all very talented, Galinda made us laugh constantly, and we were both mesmerized from beginning to end. If we ever got the chance to go again, we definitely would :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Letter To August - 2014

Dear August,

You and I have always had a special relationship. After all, I was born on your 19th day, and we've been celebrating that for a whopping 22 years in a row now. For that reason alone you've been a month that I look forward to throughout the years, but that's not the only reason. You represent the last leg of summer, and you overcome people with a real sense of Carpe Diem and cause them to act on those plans they've been putting off all summer before that last heat wave has left us for good.

It has been an incredibly busy month! I haven't been able to blog nearly as much as I've wanted to, but I've still been able to post some unique content that I hadn't expected to write, such as an on-the-fly post about the death of Robin Williams and a written emotional response to the IGGPPC's visit to the 2014 Geekie Awards. While I love writing out posts that I've planned  bit in advance, there is something to be said abut something written on the fly driven by my emotions at the time, so thank you for providing the days that showed me that, among many other things.
Both of the giveaways I hosted this month were widely successful, and I couldn't be happier. Unfortunately I cannot yet announce the winner of the Summer Camp Fun! giveaway, because the winner hasn't yet responded to my message. I'll update this information when that changes. The winner of the giveaway I hosted to celebrate my 22nd birthday is none other than Mia Moore, an amazing blogger, fellow geekette and one of my dear pen pals. I'd be happy no matter who ended up winning, but this particular win makes me very, very happy. And funnily enough, Mia's birthday was yesterday, so the winning of this giveaway is very well timed. Happy Belated Birthday, Mia!
Happy Birtday to meee, Happy Birthday to meee!
My 22nd birthday was also a great success. I didn't do too much on the actual day - breakfast with my mom, grandma and my brother, dinner with my mom at M.T. Bellies, played Walking Dead on my phone for most of the day - and I'd planned to celebrate with my friends later that weekend. I'm not going to make a list of all of the gifts I received, but I've already showed off my amazing birthday package I received from my pen pal Diana. I've used the mascara quite a bit since receiving the package and I've worn the Kingdom Hearts necklace, but I haven't had a chance to play with anything else yet.

I also got some cool things from my mom, like seasons 2 and 3 of Castle - I tore through season 3 pretty quickly by the way - and an expansion to one of my favorite board games Power Grid, which contained a 2 sided board for Russia and Japan with a set of instructions for each one. This is a favorite game of my boyfriend's, and I really wish he was around so we could try out the new board together. Hopefully I can find somebody in the next little bit that's around who wants to learn how to play Power Grid. It might be a long one and is very strategic, but it's also a ton of fun too.
You had to know that I couldn't keep this picture to myself XD
AND THIS HAPPENED!!! XDD This would probably have to be the highlight of my month, because yes, Nathan Fillion put his arm around me <3 p="">

The other random guy in the photo (jk love you Blair) is my friend that I spent the entirety of my first FanExpo experience with. We went halfsies on the photo op price, and so here we both are. I plan on writing more about FanExpo in the near future, but I needed to show off this particular moment because I have been very much obsessed with Castle this month and getting to meet the man behind the character in person was such a huge thrill. I kept pestering Blair all day on Saturday with, "It's Nathan Fillion day! It's Nathan-Freaking-Fillion day!" Since getting hooked on Castle I've seen Fillion as a complete dreamboat, not to mention hilarious. The photo op was pretty rushed, and we didn't get a chance to really "chat", but he still seemed really nice, and complimented Blair's shirt. I can say with absolute certainty that he is even more dreamy in person.
This was pretty much me since Friday, only much more dead looking XP
Unfortunately, while I planned to celebrate my birthday on the weekend by hanging out in Clifton Hill and then coming back to Welland to play board games (such as Betrayal at House on the Hill that I now own, yay!), but fate decided to intervene. It started with a sore throat on Thursday, then grew worse on Friday so I went to the clinic and got an antibiotic. By Saturday I was completely immobile, and had to cancel all of my fun plans for the day. Not only that, but the antibiotic I was prescribed from the clinic made me realize that my body is intolerant to penicillin, because it made me even sicker :( I'm actually still recovering from this cold/throat infection thing that has been going around for a while now, and I was sick and still taking a new antibiotic throughout FanExpo. Hopefully I won't be carrying this illness with me throughout the next month, because it's caused me a lot of fatigue and grief.
This month was also a month of high stress related to a few things at work. There was a solid week, on top of being sick, when I severely doubted my self and my abilities. I was very anxiety-ridden and was worried that I wouldn't be able to continue at my job at the bookstore anymore. I've always loved my job, and I've taken a great deal of pride in working there. Recommending books to customers, even if they don't purchase them, is definitely my favorite part of my job. It took a little while, but I was able to realize that just because I felt that one person didn't think highly of me didn't mean that I was a less valued person. It's just like the image says, "Your value doesn't decrease based on someone's inability to see your worth." Things have now been completely resolved at work, and I'm happy to say I handled things responsibly, and I plan to work on my communication skills for the future.
This past winter was a harsh ones, and I also experienced a lazy summer, so I have some unwanted weight that I'm currently carrying. It's at the point where most of the clothes I own right now don't fit me, and I was forced to go shopping for new clothes while not being completely content with my body, which makes any shopping trip much harder. The first store I tried on jeans in didn't have a single pair that fit me, which left me feeling awful about myself, and I vowed that if the next store didn't have jeans that fit me properly, I would burst into tears. It happened that the first pair I tried on at the next store not only fit without any real effort, but they were also incredibly comfortable!

The shopping trip that I took this month was exactly what I needed. I ended up leaving that store, where I bought the majority of my new clothes, feeling confident and excited to wear my new items and be able to both look and feel good. One thing that I'm hoping for in the next month will be to continue to feel confident about how I look, no matter what size I am. Easier said than done, I know, but I am determined to remember that I am beautiful no matter my size.
No matter the season, my campus is always gorgeous.
Fall is just around the corner, which is a bit of a disappointment, but it had to arrive sooner or later. I also start classes on Thursday, and I am looking forward to my final year of university. I hope to do well in my first month of school, and I also hope to hear something from my Humber application so I can schedule an interview and be on the right track to being accepted as a student from May-August 2015 in their Creative Book Publishing Program. That's the hope, at least!

All in all, minus some self-doubt and illness, you have been a great month to me, and I appreciate it immensely. I got to spend time with my friends, visit Hamilton and Toronto for a whopping 4 days in a row, and I turned 22, so a lot has happened. I hope you will wish me luck in the month to come!

Yours affectionately,